Monica Roberts, aka the TransGriot, is a native Houstonian and trailblazing trans community leader. She works diligently at educating and encouraging acceptance of trans people inside and outside the larger African-American community and is an award winning blogger, history buff, thinker, lecturer and passionate advocate on trans issues.
Monica seeks to not only end the erasure of African-American trans voices from a movement they played significant roles in starting, but get African-American transpeople and other voices of color more involved in empowering themselves. Her activism focus is educating the TBLG community and allies about our issues and concerns in addition to shedding light about the struggles of GLBT people across the African Diaspora.
Monica was a founding member of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition and served from 1999-2002 on the inaugural board as NTAC's Political Director. She was a co-host on the GLBT themed radio show ‘After Hours’ on KPFT-FM from 1999-2001, served on the boards of Louisville's Fairness Campaign and C-FAIR, and helped organize the 2005 and 2006 Transsistahs-Transbrothas Conferences that took place in that city.
She wrote a newspaper column from 2004-2007 for the Louisville-based GLBT newspaper The Letter that was the precursor to the award winning TransGriot blog she founded in January 2006 and participated in the historic trans themed panel discussion at Netroots Nation 2012.
Her writing about transgender issues from a Black perspective has appeared at Ebony.com, Loop21.com, Transadvocate, Racialicious, Feministe, Global Comment, The Bilerico Project, What Tami Said and Womanist Musings.
She’s advocated for trans human rights protections since 1998 and has lobbied at the federal, state and local levels in Kentucky and Texas. In 2006 she became the third African-American trans person and the first African-American Texan to be given the IFGE Trinity Award, the transgender community’s highest meritorious service award.
Mellon fellows Kristen Schilt & Chase Joynt host Representing Trans*, a day-long symposium on the politics and practices of trans* representation. With keynote speaker Kate Bornstein.